25 October, 2015

#Drawlloween #Inktober 24 - Skeleton

Of all the common traditional fantasy monsters, skeletons are actually not that common in the Darkhive. The reasons for this are fairly simple,and become obvious when looking at the other "undead" creatures of the hive.

When it comes to animated skeletons, a ghost could feasibly animate one moving its bones in such a way to mimic life. But the astral psychic entities known as ghosts find it easier to manipulate single items of they have telekinetic powers or possess fully intact corpses. A collection of bones is neither a single item, nor a fleshy construct. Most ghosts don't waste their effort on piles of bones.

Vampires in the Darkhive are symbiotic creatures inhabiting a host body. They thrive on blood, requiring regular supplies of it maintain their immortality and powers. A skeleton has neither stomach nor intestines to digest blood into the system, nor a liver to cleanse dead blood. Thus the vampiric symbiote could not survive in a skeleton, it would probably have a better chance of surviving in a blood of fungi.

Zombies similarly require meat on the bones of a corpse, and thus don't work as a skeletal form. If there are no muscles to move the bones, the zombie infection might linger in the marrow, but has no way to transport itself or infect new hosts.

One of the more common ways for skeletons to become animated is through the manifested effects of sorcerors and psychics, but even these are rare. In much the same way that ghosts have trouble animating a collection of bones at the same time, a person using mystic powers fnds it easier to manipulate a single bone, or a complete corpse. Complete corpses are often preferable to a mystic, especially when they are using "frankenstein" procedures, because it's easier to simple imbue a spirit into a body and allow them to do all the work, while a limited telepathic field allows communications with the spirit and thus control of the "undead". Some mystics do infuse spirits into specially prepared skeletons, but such skeletons typically have their bones held together with hinges, springs and clockworks to simulate musculature.

Mechanics and engineers may also animate skeletons with springs, clockworks and hinges, but such skeletons are typically unthinking machines in a roughly humanoid shape, used to pull carts, open doors, or look more menacing than they actually are.

More often than not, a skeleton in the Darkhive is simply a pile of bones... dead and lifeless.
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